So this is my first instructable (yay!) and what better beginning than bacon eh?
This instructable will take you through the steps of curing and roasting pork loin to make Peameal Bacon. I believe, that minus the cornmeal, this also goes by the name Canadian Bacon. No complaints about having the country I hail from associated with this yummy treat!
Sadly, I have to wait about a month for my birthday to get a smoker, so this recipe will use oven roasting to finish off the bacon. We'll add flavor in the form of real liquid smoke.
a 2-4 pound pork loin.
For the brine
4 liters of water
1 cup real maple syrup
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons curing salt
3 teaspoons slightly crushed rainbow peppercorns
5 cloves of garlic, crushed slightly
4 bay leaves
For the coating
1 cup cornmeal (approximately)
2 tablespoons real liquid smoke
Just an FYI, I use a mortar and pestle to crush my peppercorns and the flat side of a butter knife to crush the garlic cloves!
Step 1: Make Your Brine
In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients for the brine and bring just to a boil, ensuring that the sugar and the salts completely dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold. It is important not to add the pork loin to hot brine, or the salt will not distribute evenly through the meat!
Curing salt is regularly dyed pink and I've been told it's to help color the meat and that without it the it brine cured meats can turn a greyish color. I've also heard it's to distinguish it from regular salt. Mine isn't dyed, but I got it from a butcher that my wife works with (For free, whoot!) so it's the real deal, promise!
The curing salt is what protects the bacon from bacteria, so it's rather important for the home cured meats, especially if you are a beginner. I've heard tell of curing salt free (therefore nitrate free) bacon and other cured meats...but I haven't yet tried it, and so I can't advise. Maybe that will be next!